Crowdfunding my future of education work in 2017

How can we support independent work in education?  How can futures work sustain itself?

To answer these questions personally, I’m launching a new project today.  It’s an effort to support the swarm of media I currently make.  To sustain my future of education production, there is now a Patreon site.

Bryan's Patreon page header

Here’s what’s going on.

As I posted a couple of weeks ago, the sheer amount of stuff I’m producing has grown into a part-time job, between this blog, the FTTE report, the Future Trends Forum, the online book club, and a possible podcast.  Some days this actually is a full time job.

I also have a full time job, as a speaker, consultant, and writer.  My media production feeds into that, which is great, but does not sustain itself.  Remember that I am an independent.  No company backs me.  I’m not affiliated with any educational institution.   There’s no family fortune or hidden investment.  My wife and I, while sending two children to college and dealing with medical bills, are entirely on our own.

I’m now facing the point where I could cut back on those fun, exciting projects in order to devote more time to BAC’s money-making services.

I don’t want to do that.  I *love* the Forum, the book club, FTTE, and this blog.  I really want to kick off a podcast.

So when I asked for suggestions, answers flooded back, both here and through other venues (Twitter, email, phone, in person, etc.).  A leading response was to seek sponsorship.  FTTE already has one sponsor, a very kind New York nonprofit.  I have approached businesses, nonprofits, and foundations. But much more is needed.

Hence Patreon.  I picked this because it was about supporting a person’s creative work, which is apposite in this case.  I considered Kickstarter, but felt it too bound up to time-limited projects, whereas I hope to keep my projects running indefinitely.

I set up my Patreon site accordingly.  You can see a few different parts of it:

  1. Funding levels tied to projects.  The first funding goal keeps the lights on at this blog.  The second maintains FTTE.  The third, the Forum.  The fourth powers a podcast.  The fifth and especially the ultimate sixth levels lead to doing this work full time.
  2. A content feed.  Yes, I’ll share and add content to the site, reflecting my ongoing work.
  3. Rewards tied to donations.  As per usual crowdfunding practices, if you give a certain amount, I do something good in return.  That means credits, Q+A, video events – see the site’s right column.  I’ll take care of every contributor.

patronsThis is an experiment.  I’ve never run one of these before, although I’ve studied the crowdfunding movement since it began, and contributed to, and benefitted from, various social funding efforts.  I’m curious (among other things) to see how changing macroeconomics shapes how people participate – for example, will increasing inequality mean fewer or more small donations?  Where will support come from geographically?   Can the site support community, or will that reside in other venues?

I’ll report back regularly on the Patreon site (center column) as to how things are going.  At year’s end, I’ll look back and shudder from Trump’s presidency and assess how the project has gone through a post or several here, and perhaps before that.

Think of this Patreon as a version of the American National Public Radio paradigm.  These digital projects are one big creative effort, and I couldn’t do it without listeners – and readers – and viewers – and questioners – and contributors like you.  Please join me.

Liked it? Take a second to support Bryan Alexander on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
This entry was posted in personal and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Crowdfunding my future of education work in 2017

  1. Zack says:

    is apposite in this

  2. ted newcomb says:

    Sweet…wishing you all the best. Fortunately for you, I’ve gone back to work, so you will get my financial support.

  3. Zack says:

    Ted, I didn’t see how to message you on Patreon or your .com, but I’ve chanced to glance at one of the articles. Re:imagining: 5 categories seems a way of looking at things that are is near a conclusion. My thoughts run along the lines of agreeing that the “internet” (not quite certain what that could be) is feeling a “bottom up” bounce, yes, but that I think there’s something that blurs the lines in your categories…something important. Haven’t spent any time thinking about it’s “qualities” or whatever yet 😛 🙂 Back to shadows on my cave wall.

  4. New Blog that provides a means for crowdfunding and exposure for fundraisers!
    Be the first to join the community!

  5. Pingback: When I Consider How My Light is Spent | Bryan Alexander

  6. Pingback: The Patreon project, two months in | Bryan Alexander

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *